What is a CT Scan?

A CT scan is an x-ray exam that combines x-rays and computer technology to create cross sectional images through your body. Highly trained radiologists then review the images on a computer screen to look for disease.

How do I prepare for the exam?

Just before undergoing a CT scan for your abdomen and pelvis, our staff will ask you to drink an oral preparation to coat your stomach and intestines. This will help the radiologist identify any abnormalities. You should not have any solid food for three (3) hours prior to your exam. You should not have any liquids (other than the oral prep) one (1) hour prior to your exam. You may take your prescription medicines (except for Glucophage) on schedule before or after your CT scan as directed by your physician. If you take Glucophage for diabetes, you may be asked to stop your medication for 48 hours following the examination.

CT scans through the head, chest and limbs do not require an oral preparation.

What can I expect during the CT exam?

You may be asked to change from your regular clothes into a gown that has no metal zippers or snaps. The CT Technologist will help position you on a padded scanning bed. You will listen for breath-holding instructions. Each breath-hold will be about 10-15 seconds in length. During this time, the table will move slowly in and out of the CT scanner while images are taken.

IV Contrast (X-Ray Dye)

Your exam may require the use of IV Contrast (also known as X-Ray Dye). This contrast is injected into an IV that will be placed in your arm by the CT Technologist.

This injection will help look at the blood vessels in your body and enhance visualization of all the organs. Since x-ray dye does contain Iodine, we will need to know if you have any allergies to Iodine prior to the procedure. In some instances of known dye allergies, your ordering physican may need to prescribe pre-medication before you come for your appointment.

It is normal to experience a warm flush feeling during the injection. You may also get a metallic taste in your mouth. This usually last a few minutes and then goes away.

How long will the exam take?

Your CT exam should last about 15-30 minutes from when you enter the scanning room. Some exams are shorter.

When and how will I get the results of my exam?

The Technologist will review the images for technical quality and send them to the radiologist. Our Board Certified radiologists will study your images and dictate a report. These reports are sent to your doctor on the same day as your imaging study. Your doctor will give you the results of your exam.

Please call us if:

– You cannot keep your appointment.
– You may be pregnant.
*For any other questions, please call us at: (617) 383-6585